The PlayStation 4 Looks Great… But Don’t Expect it to Sell as Well as the PlayStation 3

PlayStation 4 release date
The video game industry has drastically changed since the last generation of consoles. Since the PlayStation 3’s release in 2006, there’s been a large shift in how the industry works, what sells and what consumers want.

These major shifts bring me to make a small prediction: the PlayStation 3 has sold an estimated 77 million units and I predict that the PlayStation 4 will only manage to sell a maximum of 60 million units (that’s around three-quarters rounded up.)

Let me be clear, the PlayStation 4 looks fantastic and will probably actually end up being fantastic. The PlayStation 4 looks like it may even win this generation; I’ve not got much to go by considering the next-Xbox has yet to be revealed and the Wii U has more-or-less been a flop, but the PS4 has hit almost every nail. Enhanced social features and interaction? Check! Better graphics and hardware capabilities? Check! Cloud gaming and a sexy controller? Check! A beautiful-looking console? Err… we’ll skip that one for now, I think.

Before the Nintendo 3DS, PlayStation Vita or Wii U launched, I made a quiet prediction that none of them would do particularly well and that, at best, they’d do okay and not hit the success of their respective predecessors. As it turns out in fact, all three have struggled quite a fair bit in getting gamer’s attention and money. Though each console have reasons behind this — lack of launch titles, third-party support, customer understanding etc. — none of them are inherently bad consoles. In my opinion, it’s just that unless someone pulls out something utterly out-of-this-world, any console released this generation is going to suffer the exact same fate.

PlayStation Vita

Worldwide financial slumps during the last generation have probably made people more money-weary. As such – and because of services like Steam and Origin – gamers are increasingly resorting to sticking with their PC’s as their foremost gaming platform. After all, it’s difficult to justify spending $500 on a system that will become outdated within a few years when right in front of you is a system you can buy more-or-less the same games for cheaper on and is constantly upgradable… right?

The rise of technologies like smartphones and tablets have also not helped console’s cause, offering incredibly cheap, affordable, quick and accessible games for people on-the-go. Nintendo even at one point considered Apple to be their main rival as opposed to Sony and Microsoft due to the success of mobile gaming.

Then there’s the ethical issues like DRM and whether consoles should play pre-owned games. A GameStop survey suggests that 60% of gamers would not buy a console that didn’t play pre-owned titles but there’s a looming pressure on the industry to rid of pre-owned titles; of course, this will severely harm gaming outlets, but the severity of this doesn’t seem to be clicking with people. With heavily restricted games, who would want to buy a new console?

Last but not least, video games have become saturated with copycat, generic titles being pumped out year-on-year and companies seemingly not understanding what it is that their audience want any more. If it’s not lacking any idea as to what consumer want nowadays, it’s being confused by reactions to implementations that sell well but get complained about on social networks — for instance, DLCs and micro-transactions, which in turn give games more longevity than ever before, giving less of a reason to purchase new titles.
Wii U poor salesWith all these issues, the industry is not in its safest position it’s ever been in, with rumors of an imminent console crash occurring popping up regularly. Though I don’t think we’re quite at that point yet, I do think that any console this generation is going to really struggle. We’re just not in the same place as we were back in the simple days of the PlayStation 2 and unless we see something extraordinarily innovative laid on the table for us, consoles like the PlayStation 4 and next-Xbox are bound to sell less units than their predecessors.


About Ryan Brown

Commonly going by the alias 'Toadsanime' online, Ryan Brown acts as Coin Arcade's editor and primary writer. With an avid interest in various aspects of gaming -- including general gaming, indie gaming, retro gaming and merchandise collecting -- he aspires to build a career in the video game journalism industry. He also writes his own descriptions as if talking about somebody else, apparently.

12 comments on “The PlayStation 4 Looks Great… But Don’t Expect it to Sell as Well as the PlayStation 3

  1. Here is an expect from a comment on this article;

    “Not a chance. The PS3 will obviously sell well and dominate next gen. The next Xbox won’t come close to the Xbox 360’s installed base.

    The PS3 still hasn’t had the all important price drop to $199 worldwide. That is the price the PS2 went on to sell some 90 million more consoles when it was already at 70 million worldwide.

    There are still 5-7 years of sales left for the PS3 and it is selling at the same yearly rate as the 160 million selling PS2 – about 11 million consoles a year.

    PS2 14 years * 11 mil/yr ~160 million
    PS3 7 years * 11 mil/yr ~78 million

    The next Xbox has virtually no chance of selling the same number of units as the Xbox 360. The next Xbox won’t have the luxury of the RRoD fiasco inflating Microsoft’s worldwide installed base numbers by millions and millions of console like this gen.”

    That is all

  2. 6th Generation TOTAL = 209M
    PS2 = 153M
    XBOX = 24M
    GAMECUBE = 22M

    7th Generation TOTAL = 256M
    Wii = 100M
    PS3 = 78M
    360 = 78M

    You see where I’m going with this?

    First off, that took about 20secs worth of common sense and a knowledge of the industry and and addition 1min of time spent on google. Probably much less time than it took you to write up this article but also packing more factual information than your “peculiar” claims.

    I could translate it for you though, the 6th generation of consoles, didn’t even do as well as the 7th generation of consoles believe it or not. And while sony lost about 40% market share (for obvious reasons) they still managed to break 70M and so did MS. But if you really look at everything, in the 7th generation market share was nearly evenly spread out across all three platforms, as opposed to the lopsided affair of the PS2 era. But overall console sales were significantly more in the 7th gen than in the 6th gen.

    And though I didnt put that in, the 5th gen (PS1/N64/3DO/JAGUAR/SEGA SATURN era)had a total console number of just over 135M.

    If 3 consecutive console generations hasn’t told you that those numbers keep going up then I don’t know what else will.

    And contrary to what you may think, console gaming is not going to be affected by mobile gaming, its the vita/3ds that has to worry about cellphones and tablets. As its simply IMPOSSIBLE to have a similar experience across both platforms. Unless of course no one uses TVs anymore.

    Here’s my take on the 8th generation…
    PS4 = 100M
    nXBOX = 100M
    WiiU = 30M

    Yes, the PS4 will not sell as much as say a PS2, but thats simply because right now they don’t have the market all to themselves anymore. XBOX will do equally well. With both consoles coming in at equally respectable price points, consumer uptake will be a lot faster (remember the PS3 cost as much as $600 at launch) and both of them will drop prices faster cause of their off the shelf architectures.

    The WiiU will flop, simply cause its predecessor catered primarily to the casual crowd, and those nice people aren’t the type to go and buy a new console or even new games (just ask the wii) so expect that crowd to simply migrate to nobile or just keep their wii. Nintendo lost the hardcore crowd with the wii, and they have come out with a console that simply will be unable to hold its own to “hardcore” consoles in PS4 and nXBOX.

    I hope you have a better understanding of whats actually going on. But hey, doom and gloom seems to be the norm these days on the internet so I guess you can just enjoy yourself.

  3. The PS4 is going to sell way better than the PS3 has. Even better than the 360 and Wii.

  4. You know nothing.

  5. Look at all the N4Gtard pauperstation fans cry again, they’re an absolute joke.
    “The next Xbox won’t have the luxury of the RRoD fiasco inflating Microsoft’s worldwide installed base numbers by millions and millions of console like this gen.”
    GTFO! Those numbers were never added, same goes for the YLOD on PS3.

    Xbox 360 is the gaming console for this gen with still a 1.5 million unit lead over PS3 according to both companies’own financial reports and over a 100 MILLION unit software sales lead and the longest without a pricedrop. People play more on the Xbox 360 than the PlayStation 3.
    No wonder Sony’s userbase got cut in half, they suck!
    Sony’s already in financial desperation land having to sell buildings and bonds to raise money, if the PS4 will sell worse than the PS3 at launch, then PlayStation brand is DEAD! The Vita is already a massive flop, like the PSP Go and the Xperia brand.
    Next gen will be the end of Sony!

    • I don’t know. I don’t think I can support Microsoft this next generation. Because of their Causal gaming, Kinect and Family friendly Media Hub, I’d much rather buy a PlayStation 4. Plus I just realized that Halo and Gears of War were the only reason I had an Xbox and I’m done with those two (Gears after Gears of War 2 and halo after Reach) Will Prob Get PS4.

    • I don’t know were you are getting your numbers but those were most certainly added. The Xbox’s sold have been an estimated extra 6 million to consumers who had the Reg Ring. Yellow Light Estimates are around 600,000.

      Second the Last Finical Report both companies put the PlayStation 3 at 77 million units and the Xbox at 76 million units. This is from February of 2013.

      As of right now, in the US the lowest retail on a new Xbox 360 is $199.99. The Xbox 350 Started at 399.99.

      Sony’s PS3 has yet to hit what is called in the video games business the coveted “200 dollar threshold” usually when a console hits this it tends to sell extraordinary well. (In 2006 when the PS2 hit this threshold it sold 40 million units in one year)

      Also if you knew anything about Finances you would know that Sony has recorded a Net Profit of $220 Million Dollars this year, the highest since 2008. The probably aren’t going anywhere the next generation.

  6. What’s your point?! And you should re-writie you article title! No one know what it looks like! Should be ‘PS4 specs look great’! I really have no time for you fake journalists, who can’t even write a simple title or article!

  7. 3DS not doing so well? Isn’t it outselling its direct competitor 4 to 1? And generally being the top selling unit of the passing gen? And WiiU a flop? A system that’s suffered almost no worse a launch fate than any previous system (from any manufacturer) WiiU hasn’t given out its aces yet. And still has 6 months freedom to get ahead.
    As for the actual topic at hand? Consoles disappearing. I think there will be an evolution more than the death of a console. Everything is diluting markets, but the mobiles will never be capable of a console system in performance and as importantly input controls. Funny thing is, the traditional consoles are turning themselves into brand-name PCs. They’re almost weeding themselves out the console industry. Making their costs higher and less affordable to the markets
    I still kinda think it would be interesting to see a system release dedicated to gaming again, without the extra RAM, Processors, Cooling, Unit size and cost associated to running in depth OSs. Which is i guess why they’re bringing out Ouya etc..
    The realm of PCs will always exist as a platform for the latest top end processing hardware. The realm of mobile systems will be prevalant cause of automatic adoption (ppl are buying ‘mobile phones’ not ‘mobile gaming systems’) and convenience.
    And in the middle will always be a market for something akin to a console, because neither two ‘realms’ I mentioned will have definitive extravagant intricate control input methods. Miscellaneous peripherals for PCs and even mobile devices will never be prevalant because game devs can’t programme for devices consumers aren’t guaranteed to have
    Wii wasn’t a fluke success, and it wasn’t just cause the casual populace mistook it as something cooler. It literally did things that no competitor could.Not PC with its potentially endless array of hardware/peripheral options, not 360/PS3 with their upper performance and multi media functions, and not the mobile market with its unstoppable and inevitable adoption. Wii literally brought brand new concepts to the gaming world. Wii fit being best example. I bought that, and still can enjoy playing that (exercise is a timeless activity). As long as a console can provide something genre breaking and as unique as that. I think they may have a life ahead yet

  8. on your linked in profile you claim that these ‘editorials’ ( even though you are the only person at CoinArcade……nice rip off of a more successful website, by the way, you didn’t even have the balls or the talent to come up with your own ‘name’ )

    but I digress:

    you claim that these ‘editorials’ are your strongest point and give a better example of you and your ‘work’?

    are you kidding me with this? its no-marks like you that watch a couple of Machinima video’s and think because you play Cawl of Doody 23 hours a day that you are some kind of authority on the gaming industry. But worse still is that you have the sheer gall and audacity try and pass yourself off as a journalist?

    go back to your obvious talents and just keep asking people if they want fries with that?

    what a total wanker

    • What site is the name Coin Arcade ripping off then? The name was intended to be temporary but I kept it after getting used to it and failing to think of anything better.

      Sure, I think it is — can’t say that I’m proudest of this article in particular but I’ve been paid for editorials by several sites and magazines so clearly at least someone else thinks I’m alright. I’m certainly not pretending I’m a big-shot journalist; I don’t pretend that I’m anything other than an amateur blogging via an amateur site. Frankly, it’s fun running this and good experience for the future. I don’t yet earn any money off of this and don’t expect that this will earn me any money in the long-run.

      I don’t particularly watch Machinima, nor do I play Call of Duty at all. What’s got you so worked up that you’re THIS pissed off at me, anyway?

    • How’s Bristol for you, dickhead?

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